Death Be Not Proud

Amidst the hustle of daily life, the death of a loved one makes friends and relations stop and reconsider. The question of how to honour and respect the individuality and beliefs that were central to their life can get lost with the shock. A green and eco-friendly funeral company, Green Endings, will organise highly personalised funeral ceremonies in parks, woodlands, or your own back garden. Coffins are made of natural materials such as bamboo, local woven willow, or cardboard, with rope handles. The most eco-friendly one is made of recycled newspapers. The director, Roslyn Cassidy, sensed an unmet need: "death has been taken out of our hands, not only do the majority of deaths occur hidden in hospital, but funeral directors have accepted responsibility for the whole funeral." Woodland burials are growing in popularity. Not only are they cheaper than traditional funerals, but they are more environmentally friendly. (The formaldehyde in embalming fluid can contaminate watercourses, coffin handles are often plastic and smoke from crematoriums compounds the greenhouse effect). Woodland burials use biodegradable coffins, and a tree is planted on or near the grave. Some sites are meadows where bulbs or wildflowers are planted as a marker. "In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer" Albert Camus.